February 29, 2024

The Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) – Batangas was hailed as the overall champion for both student and professional divisions during the recently concluded 11th Batangas Food and Beverage Exposition (BAFBEX) and the 14th National Food Showdown (NFS), at the DLSL Sentrum, Nov. 17.

In an interview with Lavoxa Online, Kristine Manlapaz, LPU-B’s Department Chair for Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Administration, shared how despite almost not pushing through with their participation, their rigorous preparations and drive allowed them to take home the awards to their institution.

“Well, we’re so grateful […] because despite the challenges that we’ve encountered, ito kami, nag-champion kami, we’re back on the culinary [and] hospitality arena,” said Manlapaz.

Kristine Malanpaz, LPU-B Department chair for Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Administration, shares the secret of LPU-B’s  success during the BAFBEX and NFS event. (V. Tin-ga)

She also revealed that their careful assessment of competition guidelines was the secret to their success in 15 of the 16 contest categories, even after a brief training period.

“[LPU-B is] really the top one tourism and hospitality school in the province [and] in the region […] this is also a proof [of] how dedicated, how committed, and how passionate our students and our professors [are] when it comes to these kinds of competitions,” Manlapaz stated.

Other awardees include Batangas State University – The National Engineering University (BatStateU – TNEU) Pablo Borbon, and BatStateU – TNEU Malvar with nine and eight awards, respectively.

With the theme “Malakas at Maganda: The Surge of Philippine Cuisine”, the two-day event aimed to feature the culinary culture of Batangas and promote local food producers through holding various cooking competitions for both amateurs and professionals in the food and beverage industry.

Contestants from other schools test their knowledge during BAFBEX HRT quiz bee event. (J. Lagmay)

For the first day, a quiz bee focusing on the Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism (HRT) industry was held as well as cooking competitions which included Klasika Moderna, Regional Bibingka Galapong, Coffee Concoction, Goto Batangas, Regional Fruit Jams or Preserves for Cinturis, and Table Setting with Floral.

The contests continued the following day with participants taking on Paksiw Batangas, Bagoong, Mocktail Mixing, Vinegar, Sinaing Batangas, and Cacao Concoction.

Fourth year hospitality management student Michael Bitong, the overall chairperson and program director, said that the event’s success was surprising considering their challenges in looking for potential event sponsors while attending to their thesis, practicum, and laboratory classes that constrained their time during the planning and implementation.

BAFBEX participants exhibit their expertise for the best modern recipe at the cooking arena. (J. Lagmay)

“Actually, medyo matagal ‘yung preparation namin for it, […] nagkaroon ng malaking adjustment but […] tinry pa rin namin ‘yung best namin and we worked extra hours para lang ma-meet ‘yung expectations or even exceed ang expectations nila,” said Bitong.

Fifty percent of the event’s proceeds will be allocated to the College of International Tourism and Hospitality Management (CITHM) Green Prix Event Lasallian Honorary Scholarship Endowment Fund, a student financial assistance program, while the Finance Resource Department (FRD) will return and equally distribute the remaining 50 percent to the hospitality management students.

The event marked BAFBEX’s first on-site program after the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Article by Jazmine Bustamante and Vyon Medina

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